600,000 People Mistakenly Told They Were Coronavirus Positive

A health care program of the United States Department of Defense Military Health System sent a message to 600,000 people and told them that they had the coronavirus.

Tricare, in its mass email dated July 17, even asked the “COVID-19 survivors” to consider donating their blood for research purposes.

The email was received by over 600,000 Tricare users in the East Region. Problem is, the majority of the email recipients were never even tested for COVID-19.

“As a survivor of COVID-19, it’s safe to donate whole blood or blood plasma, and your donation could help other COVID-19 patients,” the email stated.

“Your plasma likely has antibodies (or proteins) present that might help fight the coronavirus infection. Currently, there is no cure for COVID-19. However, there is information that suggests plasma from COVID-19 survivors, like you, might help some patients recover more quickly from COVID-19,” it added.

Reports said that Humana Military, the company that partially manages Tricare, sent the email “to every beneficiary located near a collection point,” causing the error.

Humana corporate communications lead Marvin Hill Humana sent out an apology after realizing the mistake.

“As a part of an effort to educate military beneficiaries about convalescent plasma donation opportunities, Humana was asked to assist our partner, the Defense Health Agency. Language used in email messages to approximately 600k beneficiaries gave the impression that we were attempting to reach only people who had tested positive for COVID-19. We quickly followed the initial email with a clear and accurate second message acknowledging this. We apologize,” Humana said.